Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Remember You


Kai's Thoughts: 

I came home to cry. I came home to celebrate. I came home to heal. I came home to (re)member. I am grateful.

One year ago today, I had top-surgery. One year ago today, I was in a hospital bed waiting. I believe I was #8 in a line of transguys all waiting to be changed. We smiled at each other from our beds. I wasn’t afraid because you were there with me physically, spiritually and emotionally—I was held and I am grateful.

I remember you today, Analena. The support you gave and the sacrifice you made to support me. I remember today, your suitcase heavy with books because you had to take qualifying exams as soon as we got back to LA. You held my hand. You made me laugh. You prayed with me and for me. You cared for my body when I couldn’t and I am grateful for you, your love and friendship. Thank you. 

I remember you today, Jolie and Treva who came and cleaned my house and changed my bandages. I was afraid of my scars. I was afraid to look. I was afraid to touch. You held me. All I had to do was stand there and you all loved me and helped me to heal. Thank you.

I remember you today, Prentis. You have been an amazing big brother and I wouldn’t be the man I am today without you. Your love, support, and mentorship have shaped me and helped me to grow in ways that I didn’t even know existed. You have helped me to become more aware and conscious. I love you.

I remember you today, Tree, Rey and M.A., I am thankful for your love and the way you teach me community. Thank you.

I remember you today, Julia and Alexis, for the poetry you wrote, for the candles you lit, for the prayers that held me when I couldn’t hold myself. I am thankful for you.
I remember you today, Erica. My real life superhero, I love you. You remind me always of how powerful I am. You help me to see my own strength when I forget. Your brilliance, your love, your friendship has helped me to heal. I thank you.

I remember you today, Ms. Vargo, my seventh grade English teacher who donated to my top surgery fund and still checks in on me regularly. You taught me the meaning of emotional intelligence. You encouraged me to write. I am thankful for you. 

I remember you today, Qween. You conducted ceremony for my community and me. You blessed me and sent me off with divine protection from the ancestors. I thank you.

I remember you today, Jewel, my Black queer elder, healer. You gave me acupuncture and tinctures to help me heal in ways that Western medicine could never do. You gave me the love of a grandmother and I appreciate you.

I remember you. I remember you and the poems you wrote, the letters you sent, the candles you burned, the songs you sang, the prayers you sent up, the donations you made, the phone calls and texts messages sent. You held me. You continue to hold me and I grow stronger so that I can return that same love. 
From Top Surgery Ceremony W/ Qween

There are too many names to list, but know that I remember you. You showed up for me and I am grateful. Those of you who lit candles, burned sage, and whispered words of love to the universe on my behalf THANK YOU!

I believe I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

I also believe that all of us hold the divine/God/love within us.

If both of those statements are true then, I can do all things because of my community who gives me strength.

I send you love today and everyday. I pray for you today and everyday.

On this 1-year anniversary, I look at my body amazed at its capacity to heal and grow stronger. I know that this is only possible because I have a community of folks standing with me—peers, young people, mentors, elders, and ancestors.

About a year ago

We are dandelions rising, always rising. We are poems dancing, always dancing. We are lovers, always loving. Love. We are healers, always healing. We are freedom’s dreams, always coming true. We are survivors, surviving even though no one told us we could do it this way. We are. We are. And we forever will be…


  1. Happy anniversary, birthday, and day of remembrance! I am so proud of you, inspired by you, and encouraged by who you are and who you work to be. Thank you for your words and insight!!!

  2. kai for your courage and modeling for me and all of us more ways of making otherwise seemingly self-centering individuated transitions ones that are community centered and a piece of all of all our transitions together towards self realizing as community realizing transformations xo ryh

  3. you are so handsome :)

  4. Thank you for writing this and sharing it with us. Beautiful and healing words. Happy Anniversary.

  5. Happy top surgery celebration for year #1!